We all know that dilemma of “what to make for dinner?” One day I was staring at a lovely fresh pineapple my husband had gotten me trying to figure out what to do with it. I thought hey, chicken and pineapple go well together and we have some grass-fed chicken breasts to use, so that’s a start. And we had some veggies to grill on the side. But I also wanted some rice (because I can only do so much riced cauliflower before I need a little break) - and I don’t like to use a lot of pots because I am a lazy cook. So I glanced at the pressure cooker waiting to be put up from making the weekly steel cut oats earlier that day and I was inspired….Would it be possible to make pressure cooker risotto and also cook my chicken in the delicious juices at the same time? Some googling found lots of recipes for mushroom chicken risotto doing just that and I had my solution. It could be wonderful or awful - but all new recipes have that potential.
So, the end result was absolutely wonderful - a sweet and spicy nod to traditional jerk flavors with the creamy lush texture of risotto. I will do my best to share the recipe with you, but keep in mind that if you like more sweetness you may want to add more brown sugar. If you use canned pineapple, you may need less. Ours had a gentle heat, but a little more cayenne or chili sauce could easily crank up the fire if that’s more to your taste. You can use pre-cooked chicken and probably could use fish or other mild meats with this dish - even a mild Italian sausage. I wanted leftovers for lunch so I used a full pound (2C) of rice but you can adjust the ratios for more or less. My pressure cooker is not a fancy Instapot - but I’m sure you can adapt this for most pots.
Set the rice to soak for at least 30 minutes in cold water - I always do this with rice before cooking. While the rice is soaking: Peel and core your pineapple (if using canned - time to open the can). Marinate the chicken in a brine of chicken broth (add just enough to cover the meat), 1 lime juiced, cores from pineapple (if using canned pineapple, add the juice and a few chunks to the marinade), about ⅓ C brown sugar, a little “Slap Ya Momma” seasoning, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Set aside for 30 minutes and prep your veggies or other desired sides. Dice some garlic if you want to add it (I used 2 cloves).
Back to the rice - drain and rinse well, set aside in a strainer. Preheat the oven to about 400 for the veggies (if desired). Use the “saute” or “brown” mode in your pot - if you don’t have one you will need an extra pan and to do this over med high heat on the stove top. Add in 2 Tbsp olive oil, pineapple chunks, diced garlic and saute until tender and pineapple is starting to brown (the fancy word I believe is caramelized). Add in ½ C cooking wine (whatever white-ish type you have on hand, or like I used this time a Chinese cooking wine) and 1 Tbsp butter. Add in rice and stir until rice has absorbed the liquid. Add in about 4 C of the remaining chicken stock, your chicken, stir well and switch to “rice mode” or other default that will give you 10 min cooking time. If you are doing grilled veggies as a side - place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil and put them in the preheated oven. While the pressure cooker gets going, relax, set the table, do some chores, whatever. Periodically check the veggies to make sure they are cooking to your desired doneness.
At the end of the cooking time “quick release” the pressure, stir and you should be ready to serve your delicious sweet and spicy risotto with your favorite veggies or sides (or simply enjoy the main dish!). This made plenty for two adults with leftovers for lunch for two, though a little more chicken would have been ideal. Please, be sure your chicken is cooked if you aren’t using pre-cooked chicken...and that’s all there is to it!
Cook pasta according to package instructions to al dente.
While pasta is cooking, add butter to separate pan on medium high heat and sauté onions 1 minute, add garlic and sauté 1 more minute.
Add mushrooms to pan and sauté 2-3 minutes.
Add zucchini and tomatoes to pan, cook another 3-4 minutes, add wine to pan.
Add dried basil, salt and pepper to taste and simmer on medium-low heat
In bowl, add crumbled goat cheese, stir in pesto.
When pasta is done, drain and reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.
Add hot pasta directly to bowl with goat cheese pesto, toss to coat.
Add in sautéed vegetables.
Stir in 1-2 tbsp reserved pasta water at a time until desired consistency is reached.
I came across this idea online and decided to test it out - I love using silicone muffin tins for baking eggs and leftover veggies for a quick breakfast, but these looked nicely portable and easy to make for breakfast on the run. My initial idea to create a phyllo, pear and prosciutto tart today was derailed by the fact that I always forget phyllo needs a day in the fridge before I can hope to use it - and I was hungry now. So let the testing begin!
After chopping the garlic, let it sit on the cutting board for several minutes, this increases its disease-fighting potential by making an enzyme called allicin more potent.
Heat a teaspoon of sesame oil in a large pot on medium high heat. Add onions and sauté 1-2 minutes. Add garlic, sauté another minute, and then add ginger, sautéing an additional minute.
Add stock and bring to a boil. Add salt and soy sauce.
Add raw chicken breasts and rice to pot, continue boiling on medium high heat.
Cook for 10 minutes, remove chicken breasts. Cover pot and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Chop chicken into small pieces, add back to pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with scallions.
To start your day, I love this savory Congee. It’s packed with several powerhouse food herbs to nourish your body. Enjoy it plain, or with a cup of green tea as an easy way to start your day.
In addition to your rice, add:
I have served it this way too many unsuspecting people who hate liver so much they can "taste it in anything" but were willing to let me try to fool them. And I did - they loved it.